Email as Life Interface

Smallthoughts has this nice musing about the role of email as universal life interface:

I find myself using email as a quasi-database all the time: to make lists, send myself reminders, record important snippets of information, even log hours spent on a project. Why? First of all, because the email client is the one window that I will always have open and easily accessible, whatever else I might be doing. Second, email is a great redundant data source: as well as going to whoever (or whatever) I send it to, a copy of the message ends up on my local machine, another on my servers, maybe yet another on Google’s servers, and so on. If I need to, chances are I can find it later from pretty much anywhere. But probably most importantly, email is, for many of us, the main personal input stream: if some new piece of information comes up that I have to record or take action on, chances are pretty good it came to me through email. So what more natural way to respond than right from the email client?


  1. There must be tools available that allow you to extract more meaning from your email. For example, a tool that understands that if you email yourself a reminder, it should put that reminder into your calendar. Or if you email yourself a phone number, it can put two and two together and file that message as an entry in your contact database.
    Anyone have a list of tools like this?